Ministers are awaiting evidence on whether the Covid-19 vaccines prevent transmission of the virus before they can even consider laying out a timetable for lifting lockdown restrictions, government sources say.
With early data suggesting the tide may be beginning to turn in some parts of the country, Boris Johnson has come under pressure from lockdown sceptics on his own backbenches to say how and when the “stay at home” order can be loosened.
But a Downing Street source insisted: “It’s just too soon. We’re nowhere near even looking at what the process would be.” Johnson issued a video message on Friday, urging the public to “think twice before leaving the house this weekend”.
As well as analysing the latest data on case numbers and hospitalisations, it is understood ministers are waiting to see Public Health England (PHE) research on the impact the vaccines may have on limiting the spread of the disease. “That’s very important,” one government insider said.
Clinical trials demonstrated the overwhelming efficacy of the vaccines in preventing patients from becoming ill and dying with Covid but did not make clear whether those people could still be vectors for the virus.
The post UK ‘nowhere near’ looking at lifting Covid lockdown restrictions appeared first on The Guardian.